The business of authenticity

The duo behind Live True London explain how to combine two worlds and remain true to your creative self


Being your authentic self is the ethos behind the three-strong Live True London salon group, which combines the strengths of hair and beauty salons to dazzling effect. It’s something that owners and sisters-in-law, Valerie and Kirsten Maine, try to maintain in everything they do. “The salon is a relaxed, creative space where we encourage our clients to go for the style they really want,” says Kirsten. “Some places can be quite intimidating and that’s not what we’re about. Being true to yourself is key.”

The pair came to the industry from a slightly different background – they’re both trained solicitors but they feel that this actually gave them an edge. “We bring something niche to the table, we’re incredibly client-focused,” says Valerie. “We consider everything from how the client books in to how they’re treated in the salon. For instance, because we’re so specialist when it comes to colour, a lot of people contact us through Instagram after seeing a post. They’ll ask how it was done, about the colours used, and many then want to book in for the same.”

The worlds of hair and beauty appealed to Valerie and Kirsten as they allowed them to be creative. And the synergy between the two areas has led to beauty clients turning into hair clients and vice-versa.

“We chose to partner with Redken because the brand is authentic and unique, which echoes our mindset. We know good hair makes you feel more ‘you’”Valerie Maine

Valerie had been a silent partner in the salon while it was under a different name for a number of years, before the opportunity arose to own it alongside Kirsten. Making the leap could have been tricky, but thanks to careful planning and a solid vision they’ve hit the ground running.

“It’s vital to be organised,” says Kirsten. “Coming from business backgrounds we found it easy to break down what was needed and get it done. I had been involved in the beauty side of the business and when Valerie took over Live True London we decided to merge the two.”

Seeing customers leaving the salon happy and confident is what drives Valerie and Kirsten to keep going. “This is why we are in business,” says Valerie. “We love our customers and every single experience is important to us, which is why we chose Redken. The brand is authentic and unique, which echoes our mindset. We know good hair makes you feel more ‘you’.”